The Finnish Heritage Agency publishes a quarter of a million free to use pictures

© Finnish Heritage Agency Black and white photo showing four people browsing or reading books in a book shop or library..

© Finnish Heritage Agency

The Finnish Heritage Agency has made more than 200,000 high-resolution pictures freely accessible through the Finna Service. The Agency wants to make cultural heritage as accessible, open and usable as possible.

The Finna Service is an initiative that combines the digitalised collections of hundreds of Finnish organisations such as archives, libraries and museums.

In a blog post, Ismo Malinen, Chief Intendant of the Picture Collections at the Finnish Heritage Agency, shares insights into the journey from only offering low resolutions material for free to full open access to high-resolutionimages. Ismo Malinen explains that the Agency experienced a welcomed increase of sales of high-resolution images when the low-res versions were offered for free. However, the costs of upholding the sales system did not triumph the organisations’ wish to make cultural heritage material as accessible as possible.

The collections of the Finnish Heritage Agency contain more than 18 million pictures, about half a million culture-historical artefacts and more than 1.5 million archaeological findings.